Backstory: Some of you may know that around the time I started Normalize Cloth, I also started Plumbum Diapers in 2018, a local cloth diaper bank. Don’t ask where the name came from, I just thought it sounded cute. My mission with Plumbum Diapers was to advocate for, educate about, and provide low income families with cloth diapers.
I occasionally shipped diapers out, but for the most part, I was focused on serving my local community. I genuinely feel it’s more advantageous to have more local advocates for cloth diapers who can give more personal help and provide more relevant resources for those in need.
I ran into a few problems with Plumbum Diapers, the biggest issue being a struggle to do everything myself, especially since the onset of the pandemic. I also struggled with the administrative side (talk about overwhelming), and, frankly, I struggle to know how to ask for help when I need it. However, another key issue was simply overextending myself with multiple projects, including Normalize Cloth.
My goal with Normalize Cloth was to do exactly that: Normalize cloth diapering so that, even if people opt out of cloth diapers, people understand that the option at least exists. I would love to see cloth diapering as commonplace as disposables are today. I never imagined cloth diapers working for my family, and I know that many more are in the same place as I was simply due to lack of information. I was actually upset that I didn’t know about modern cloth diapers sooner, so my goal is to make sure people know it’s an option and to be a free resource of education and assistance for them.
I had shut down Plumbum Diapers, the website and the Facebook page, because I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I even looked into dissolving it and continuing my work independently with Normalize Cloth. After chatting with a few friends, though, they pointed out something I hadn’t really considered: I’m already doing a large part of my mission for Plumbum Diapers via Normalize Cloth.
With Normalize Cloth, I’m advocating for cloth diapers. I’m assisting people on a personal level. I’m making educational content and pamphlets. I’m making video resources. The reason I felt overwhelmed with Plumbum Diapers is because I was essentially doubling my work and giving Plumbum Diapers it’s own content, it’s own page, it’s own everything. Why did I do this to myself? I have no idea.
So I took the recommendation from a friend and decided to formally change the name from Plumbum Diapers, Inc to Normalize Cloth, Inc.
That’s right. It’s a thing now.
All my work for Normalize Cloth is now being redirected into a 501c3 I created back in 2018. I’m merging the work to lessen my load. As of May 2022, the State of PA recognizes my business as Normalize Cloth, Inc. and, if all goes well, by July 2022, the IRS will have formally changed the name, too. Here’s hoping I didn’t screw any of that paperwork up! *fingers crossed*
Another issue I considered in light of the pandemic is that not everybody who struggles to get diapers for their child or children is “low income”. Sometimes the struggle is being sick with a virus and out of work. For many parents living paycheck to paycheck, being sick could cost them half their monthly income. Cloth diapers do not have to be a permanent solution for anybody, and it would be advantageous for many families to have cloth diapers and the skillset to use them, even if just as an emergency option. Also, supply issues means that even families who can afford diapers may still struggle to find them. Prior to 2020, I would have never imagined such shortages we’ve experienced. You never know what will happen next, it seems. This realization made me change how I consider giving. Obviously there will always be people who take advantage of any form of generosity, but I don’t want anybody to feel disqualified from help they truly need, either. I’m all ears for suggestions, recommendations, or any ideas anybody has regarding how to go about doing any of this.
I’m also all ears from anybody with experience operating a 501c3. Anything. Everything. In spite of my organization being 4 years old, I’m still clueless on how to do almost anything. I went entirely blind into this and have gotten so overwhelmed I want to run away sometimes, but I’m determined to figure it out. Operation has been so small that filing and reporting has been really simple but I want to see it grow, but growth comes with all kinds of responsibilities I don’t understand. I’m terrified I’ll mess things up so bad!
If you’re interested in giving, I’ll be fully transparent with you: I let Plumbum Diapers sit so long the business account closed. It had literally just closed when I went to check on it, I was so mad. I don’t see the sense in opening a new account until the name change goes through. In the meantime, I could take monetary donations, but don’t feel comfortable doing so because it would mix with personal funds. That’s a huge no-no for me, so for my own conscience sake, I’m halting monetary donations until I can re-establish an account for the organization. I still accept physical donations of diapers, which is what I mostly receive anyhow.
While the IRS processes the name change, I’ll be (slowly) working on adjusting this website to reflect the changes. I’m just as slow as the IRS anyhow.
The mission for Normalize Cloth, Inc is to advocate for cloth diapers, provide struggling families with cloth diapers, and to be a free resource of cloth diaper education for everyone.
The vision for Normalize Cloth, Inc is to see cloth diapering become an accepted practice and common skillset, as well as raise up local advocates who are resources to their communities, distributing both cloth diapers and educational resources.
If you would love to help, provide feedback, contribute, distribute, anything… let me know. Fill out the contact form on this blog. I don’t have all the answers. I can’t do everything. I don’t even know what everything is! I’ll take any help I can receive.
Thank you to everyone who has already helped me in so many ways! It means a lot to me.
When I get updates, I’ll post them here. Have a blessed day!